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Consumer (Confidence) Survey

Description of the data collection

The Consumer Survey is a telephone interview survey, which measures the views and expectations of Finnish consumers about the development of their own and Finland’s economic situation. The survey also examines households' intentions of making purchases, saving and raising loans. In addition, the survey is a tool for finding out how common various investment targets and modern equipment are in households.

The first Consumer Survey was conducted in November 1987. From October 1995, harmonised Consumer Survey data have been collected monthly on assignment of the EU Commission, which also participates in the funding of the survey.

From whom are data collected?

The survey makes use of a random sample of 2,350 persons that changes completely each month. The same sample is also used for the data collection of the Finnish Travel Survey. The target area is the whole country and the respondents of the Consumer Survey represent the population aged 15 to 84 in Finland according to age, gender, province of domicile and native language.

Participation in the Consumer Survey is voluntary. It is, however, important to include the answers from as many households as possible selected to the sample to represent all Finnish households in order for the survey to be successful.

A letter containing information about the Consumer Survey is sent to all target persons in advance. The interviews are conducted from Statistics Finland's telephone interview centre.

Data processing

The Statistics Act (280/2004) obliges Statistics Finland to treat the data as confidential. In the statistics to be published the data are reported in statistical form so that individual answers are protected.

What are the data used for?

The results of the Consumer Survey strongly correlate with changes in private consumption, gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment and inflation. The direct questions on plans of making purchases, saving or raising a loan are also a good indication of the realisation of household’s decisions.

Consumers’ views and plans are interesting not only to the European Union and the European Central Bank but also particularly to the media, economic policy decision-makers, economists at financial and research institutions, and market analysts in the fields of business and trade.

The data from the data collection are used in the following statistics:

Changes

From 2012 onwards, the sample of the consumer survey has been extended to include persons aged between 75 and 84.

In 2011 to 2012, the use of a mixed-mode method (telephone + web questionnaire) was tested.

How often are data collected?

Monthly